House leaders slam terror attack at MSU

December 3, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 102 views

HOUSE leaders on Sunday condemned in the strongest possible terms the senseless terror attack at the Mindanao State University (MSU) that claimed the lives of a number of civilians and wounded several others.

House Deputy Minority Leader and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman, Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, and Lanao del Sur Rep. Zia Alonto Adiong called on the authorities to arrest the perpetrators behind the heinous crime of killing innocent people.

“This is plain and simple terrorism. Wala na tayong ibang salita para ilarawan ang karahasan na ginawa sa mga estudyanteng payapang nagdadaos ng misa kanina, isang malayang pagpapahayag ng kanilang relihiyon,” Hataman said on the bombing of students holding mass at the Dimaporo Gymnasium in the Mindanao State University in Marawi City Sunday morning.

Katulad ng madalas nating sabihin, walang lugar ang karahasan sa isang sibilisadong lipunan. At ang mga responsable sa pambobombang ito ay dapat managot sa ilalim ng batas.”

“Nakikiramay tayo sa mga pamilya ng mga namatay sa insidenteng ito. Hindi dapat nagiging target ng karahasan ang ating mga anak. Hindi battle zone ang ating mga paaralan. Dapat ay panatag ang mga magulang na ligtas ang kanilang mga anak sa loob ng eskwelahan. I call on the authorities to investigate this fully, leaving no stone unturned. The perpetrators should be unmasked. Babantayan natin ang developments ng kasong ito para masiguro na magkaroon ng hustisya ang mga biktima at ang kanilang mga pamilya,” Hataman added.

Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs, lamented the reprehensible terror act, stressing such despicable form of violence demands strongest condemnation.

“The targeting of innocent lives during a peaceful morning mass attended by students, teachers, and various members of the MSU community is a heinous crime that shocks the conscience. The immediate toll of at least four fatalities and fifty injuries reflects the magnitude of this cowardly attack which is an affront to academic freedom, reverence to religious practices, and the sanctity of human life. The victims were subjected to a senseless act of brutality that goes against the very principles of humanity that is exemplified by man’s quest for lasting peace and harmony,” Barbers said.

“The subsequent confirmation of eleven deaths and the scheduling of surgeries for six individuals at Amai Pakpak Medical Center only deepens the tragedy. The report of the incident by the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Gabriel Viray III underscores the severity of the incident. Moreover, the statement of Police Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza into a possible link between this atrocious act and the December 01, 2023, military operations in the mountainous area of Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur, raises concerns about the complex dynamics contributing to the security challenges in that part of Mindanao. Once again, this condemnable act not only inflicts immediate pain and suffering on the victims and their families but also undermines the pursuit of knowledge, respect of one’s religious faith, and sanctity of human life. I therefore denounce this bombing and call for a thorough and swift investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice. Finally, I wish to express my deepest sympathy to the victims and their families as I stand in solidarity with the MSU community in the face of this senseless violence,” Barbers said.

Rodriguez said the bombing at Dimaporo Gymnasium is a despicable act of violence that strikes at the very soul of the nation. “We vehemently condemn this heinous assault on the sacred space of worship and unity. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families during this painful time.”

“In the face of such adversity, we stand resolute, united against those who seek to undermine the values of peace and solidarity between Christians and Muslims. This act of violence will not define us; instead, it will fortify our commitment to justice, resilience, and the unwavering pursuit of a harmonious and inclusive society,” Rodriguez said.

“We call upon the authorities to swiftly investigate this incident and bring the perpetrators to justice. We request the BARMM government to assist our authorities to bring the perpetrators to Justice.

My office will closely coordinate with the investigators to determine any possible victims from Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental and extend all possible assistance to them,” Rodriguez added.

For his part, Adiong said “My heart lies in pieces upon hearing that there was a vicious and unprovoked attack on innocent citizens attending a Sunday service at the Mindanao State University main campus this morning.”

“As of this time there has been a loss of four innocent lives and ten others wounded. I extend my support and whatever assistance my office may provide to the victims and their families, as well as to the entire community affected by this heinous act,” Adiong said.

“We have already deployed a team to assist the victims and their families at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center. They will assist in processing all assistance concerns within the capability of my office. During these dark moments, it is essential for us to unite in solidarity, demonstrating that love and compassion can overcome hatred. Let us stand together as a community, providing solace and strength to one another as we mourn the senseless loss of life,” Adiong said.

“I express the highest condemnation for the perpetrators, these murderers who targeted innocents in prayer. There is no room in Marawi, in Lanao, or in the entire Philippines for them. We implore upon the national government to leave no stone unturned until the perpetrators of this vile act are brought to justice. It is the bare minimum that we must do to ensure that the right to life of our citizens are protected. Let this be a statement of our government’s enduring commitment to human rights and a lasting peace,” Adiong said.